Matt Fradd and Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P.
TAN Books, 75 pages
St. Thomas Aquinas never wrote a word about Marian consecration, but wrote amply about consecration to the religious life. Yet, as the authors of this slim volume point out, the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, lived radically by religious men and women, are to be lived in spirit by all baptized Christians. So here is the basis for this excellent nine-day preparation for Marian consecration through the teachings of Aquinas, with each day featuring a theological reflection based on Aquinas and a passage from his writings. En route to consecration, you’ll get to know both Aquinas and Our Lady much better.
Trent Horn and Catherine R. Pakaluk
Catholic Answers Press, 207 pages
The short answer to the title question is “No,” and the long answer is “Heck, no!” Or, as Pope Pius XI wrote in his 1931 social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, “Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true Socialist.” Other popes preceding and following Pius XI agreed. In a political season where the S-word is bandied about with alarming frequency, authors Trent Horn and Catherine Pakaluk explain why this is so and debunk the claims of those who are trying to rehabilitate socialist thought even today. Timely and timeless wisdom here.
Sophia Institute Press, 40 pages
Here’s a unique way to teach young children about Mary, the mother of Jesus: through her clothing. Our Lady’s Wardrobe takes the child through events in Mary’s life, particular mysteries of the rosary, and several of Mary’s more prominent apparitions around the world. The illustrations by Juliana Kolesova are strikingly beautiful, truly colorful and exquisite, and Anthony DeStefano’s simple verses express the story of each Marian scene portrayed. There’s even a word of encouragement to make use of Mary’s sacramentals. It’s an ideal gift book for your young children and grandchildren, one that is sure to enhance their love and appreciation for our Blessed Mother.
Sophia Institute Press, 293 pages
What can 21st-century Catholics learn from the Angelic Doctor? Quite a lot, as Kevin Vost explains in his insightful new book. Readers won’t have to wade through the Summa Theologica, as Vost breaks down a dozen timeless lessons from Thomas’ writings on topics including how to practice justice in an unjust society, how to hate sin but love the sinner, how to grow in virtue so as to become a saint, and the all-important question of the meaning of life. Overcoming some of the key deadly sins is also covered here. There’s a lot more Thomas offers in his many writings, but this volume provides a good practical start.
Fr. William Saunders
TAN Books, 224 pages
For Catholics, Lent and Easter are all about ashes, fasting, fish on Fridays, palm branches, and those Easter Triduum liturgies, correct? Well, as Fr. Saunders relates in this fine book, there’s actually a whole lot more to these liturgical seasons that make them so rich in opportunity for spiritual growth. Here he explains the fuller meaning behind the familiar Catholic observances and takes us deeper: historical backgrounds, tips on preparation for one’s Lenten Confession, the significance of Holy Week liturgies, and the glorious feasts of the Easter season right up through Pentecost. Be prepared to experience these seasons of penance and new life like never before.
Fr. Peter M. Henry
Sophia Institute Press, 217 pages
There’s a “man crisis” in the Catholic Church today and indeed throughout society. Men need to step up and become what real men are supposed to be: gentlemen who stand firm for what is good and true, who do combat with evil, who defend the innocent and protect the vulnerable. It takes men like this to change the culture by forming boys into men of virtue who will carry on this rightful and heroic tradition, as Fr. Peter M. Henry explains. Parents, grandparents, coaches, ministers, troop leaders, and other men who lead boys should take seriously this critical mentoring role, and this book provides an invaluable guide.
Jay W. Richards
HarperOn, 302 pages
Can a good capitalist also be a good Christian? Yes, says Jay W. Richards, with emphasis. Here the research assistant professor at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America defends capitalism by showing how entrepreneurship, undertaken virtuously, actually helps create a more just society. He also dispels several popular myths about free markets and their impact on communities, including the notions that they create a consumerist culture, threaten our environmental resources, or further enrich the wealthy to the detriment of the poor. This book offers thoughtful reading for understanding economic issues through the eyes of faith.
OSV Books, 128 pages
How is evangelization like marketing? You have a message, you want to get people’s attention, and you want them to respond by buying in to the message. Donna Heckler applies her broad experience in corporate marketing to the Catholic Church in this eye-opening book by offering successful business strategies to help the Church at every level do what it is called to do – attract people to the Gospel message and save souls in the process. In the end, it’s still a matter of individuals responding to grace, but there’s nothing like a good marketing plan to give the Holy Spirit something to work with.
Paul Kengor and Robert Orlando
ISI Books, 288 pages
Did the Soviet Union collapse under its own weight? No way, say the authors of The Divine Plan. It wouldn’t have happened without the vision and collaboration of two remarkable world leaders, Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. Each survived assassination attempts in the spring of 1981, and each came away recognizing their survival had a divine purpose – the annihilation of atheistic Communism, the cause of religious and political oppression, human-rights violations, and even death for hundreds of millions of people. Read this exhaustively researched work if you want to learn how the Cold War really ended.
Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga
Ave Maria Press, 192 pages
Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Eighty of his family members and 45,000 of his parishioners did not. Shaken by the tragedy, he has dedicated his ministry to reconciliation and healing between the Tutsis and Hutus whose long-simmering ethnic animosity ignited the slaughter of some 800,000 Rwandans. In this remarkable book, Fr. Ubald tells his story and relates a message of hope as he encourages forgiveness and peace wherever wounds are to be found. His “five spiritual keys” are central to his message, and he closes with a guided meditation for those who wish to overcome hatred and fear in order to find peace.